Michigan seeks extensive records about underwater oil pipes

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FILE – This July 19, 2002, file photo, shows the Mackinac Bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac from Mackinaw City, Mich. Enbridge Inc. said Monday, June, 17, 2019, it’s moving ahead with collection of rock and soil samples in the Straits of Mackinac while preparing for a court battle with Michigan’s governor over a planned oil pipeline tunnel there. The Canadian company, which has been drilling into the ground on the south side of the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, said it will begin boring into the lakebed this week from a barge in shallow water. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials are demanding an extensive set of records from Enbridge as they investigate the company’s oil pipeline beneath a Great Lakes waterway.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources sent a letter Monday to the Canadian company requesting documents dating back to 1953 when Line 5 was placed in the Straits of Mackinac.

The DNR is reviewing Enbridge’s compliance with terms of the agreement that allowed the twin pipelines to run through the straits, which connect Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The DNR wants records dealing with issues such as gaps that have formed beneath the pipes and in their outer coating. Enbridge says it has received the letter but declines comment on how it will respond.

Enbridge released the following statement. It says, “Enbridge has received the State of Michigan’s information request. Line 5, which crosses the Straits of Mackinac, has been operating safely and reliably since it was constructed more than 60 years ago. The pipeline is an essential part of Michigan’s energy infrastructure system, helping Michiganders heat their homes and powering business across the State and region. We are committed to making a safe pipeline even safer by investing $500 million in the construction of a tunnel under the Straits to house the pipeline – thereby further protecting the waters of the Great Lakes and everyone who uses them.”

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